The future is looking bright for people seeking scar reduction assistance, and the increase of tech is making procedures more accessible than ever before.
According to the Cosmetic Physicians College of Australasia, Australians were spending more than 1 billion dollars a year on minimal or non-invasive cosmetic procedures. However, while people are choosing cosmetic procedures to enhance their physical features, it is scar reduction treatment that is presenting exciting treatment options.
Dr Ian Holten, a prominent plastic surgeon, travels globally assisting with reconstructive surgeries, along with life-saving surgeries through his affiliation with volunteer doctor organisations. He says the psychological perspective of patients with scarring cannot be underestimated. As Dr. Holten has witnessed, the significant psychological impact of scarring is heavy. According to a report on Cutaneous Scarring patients affected by major scars, particularly children, suffer from long-term functional and psychological problems.
"The introduction of advancements in scar reduction means we can help people feel good about themselves. Scars can deeply impact a person's confidence and their sense of wellbeing, causing anxiety and deeply impacting emotional trauma," says Dr Holten.
Those with scars undergo remodelling of their emotional state and are more prone to the development of depression and anxiety; feelings of shame and aggression can follow says a report by the University of Maryland- titled the Psychology of Scars.
"The reduction in downtime, more pain-free options and affordability makes procedures more accessible than before. The less trauma inflicted on the skin and the person, the better the outcome" says Holten.
People must have choices, especially when it impacts their life negatively. Acne scarring, unwanted tattoos and congenital skin discolouration are examples of this, along with the obvious treatments for burns and skin cancer removal.
"We have seen some terrible cases of people who have had large and deep surface areas of their skin chopped out for skin cancer removal. Early detection of skin cancers can not only save lives but also reduce the heavy scarring associated with cancers needing surgical removal. This is all thanks to technology advancements" says Dr Holten.
Early intervention and the introduction of treatments like Photodynamic therapy (PDT) means less scarring and earlier assistance. PDT is a light-based therapy targeted at pre-cancerous lesions, acne and rosacea or damaged and impaired skin cells. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a treatment that uses a specific wavelength of light, producing a form of oxygen that kills nearby cells. This is not to mention the help for early intervention in skin cancer, which accounts for around 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers in Australia. Likewise, the PICO laser treatment for tattoo removal and acne scar removal has revolutionised the way scars are treated.
The future is looking bright as we look to new advances, especially in the area of stem cell research and fibroblast biology of scarring, says Holten. Watch this space!
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